China port city blast which killed two caused by illegal explosives: Police

A deadly blast killed two and injured at least 19 in China's port city of Ningbo on Nov 26, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (AFP) - A deadly blast that rocked China's port city of Ningbo at the weekend was caused by the mishandling of illegal explosives, police said on Tuesday (Nov 28).

Sunday's blast hit a crumbling light-industrial area after a fugitive wanted for manufacturing and selling illegal explosives had asked relatives to dispose of the material, Ningbo police said in a statement.

The 33-year-old suspect surnamed Shan, who has been wanted by police in the north-eastern province of Liaoning since late October, was arrested on Monday night.

The police did not indicate why the suspect had been making explosives.

The explosion, which killed two and injured at least 19, happened when his relatives were dismantling the substance, which contained aluminium powder and barium nitrate, the statement said.

The material had been shipped from Liaoning to Ningbo before it was stocked at the location of the blast.

The local government had said on Monday that a septic tank was at the epicentre of the blast.

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A powerful blast on Sunday morning in a Chinese city south of Shanghai brought down buildings and killed at least two people while injuring many others, state media reported, with police saying the cause had still to be determined.

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